We recently moved from Austin, Texas to Newbury New Hampshire. My wife, youngest daughter and I are taking a mid life sabbatical from the same old grind, downsizing, simplifying, home schooling and trying to figure out what we are going to do when (if) we all grow up.
I have always wanted to work with wood but being hyper focused on chasing the almighty dollar since I was 12 years old (with some success) I could never get to the point of building skills with the tools I would buy on a whim now and then. Table saw, router, drill press, radial arm saw, power miter saw along with dozens of hand tools always had a new coat of fresh rust when I would uncover them and start a project that rarely got finished. I have modest rough carpentry skills and have devoured a dozen or more books by Schwartz, Tolpin and the like.
As we were packing up in Austin, I made the decision to sell all of my stationary power tools. If I ever set up another shop it would be hand tools only. When we bought our home in NH, my wife claimed the large workbench in the basement for her stained/fused glass space. Over the past year, I have carved out a 6’x6’ space from the remaining basement and am planning a HUGE land grab that will increase my shop to an astounding 12’ x 6’! In that space I am going to learn the skills of sharpening, joinery and finishing and produce one or two larger projects and a dozen or so small projects each year.
Using only hand tools, I have already cleaned and sharpened my Sandvick cross cut hand saw and it works! I’ve learned but not yet mastered plane and chisel sharpening on oil stones. I’ve built shooting boards for 90 and 45 cuts. I built a torsion box to serve as an assembly table on the 2 saw benches that will be my next project. Every day I make a joint out of 1×2 cut offs to practice sawing to a line. Dovetails and plain and keyed miter joints so far. Today I hand cut a keyed miter joint that went together straight from the saw with no shooting or chisel required! No glue yet and this joint is tight and square! So, I will be looking through the projects of lumberjocks admiring and taking inspiration. I may even post a project or two when I have something worthy!
-- can you make anything from those shavings?